The Predator, The 2018 sequel from 20th Century Fox is due out in theaters this Friday on the 14th of September, but one week before it’s release and there is a controversy about the film, it is a pretty damaging story that has the studio scrambling and it was the film’s own star who exposed it.
Last week, it was revealed that the film’s director, Shane Black has cast his friend for a small role in the film. His friend, Steven Wilder Striegel was revealed to be a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty in 2010 after facing allegations that he attempted to lure a 14-year-old female into a sexual relationship via the internet. Striegel served six months in jail after pleading guilty to two felonies risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer. The person who uncovered this was Olivia Munn who shared Striegel’s only scene in the movie. When Munn shared the information with Fox on Aug. 15, studio executives quickly decided to excise him from the movie.
“Our studio was not aware of Mr. Striegel’s background when he was hired,” a Fox spokesperson said in a statement to The Los Angeles Times. “We were not aware of his background during the casting process due to legal limitations that impede studios from running background checks on actors.”
Director Shane Black defended this decision by saying, “I personally chose to help a friend,” Black said. “I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly.” But he said he has long believed that Striegel was “caught up in a bad situation versus something lecherous.”
Now Munn is claiming that she feels ostracized by her fellow Predator castmates after speaking out about convincing Fox to remove a scene. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Munn said that she has been left on her own to discuss the removed scene with reporters, with one co-star even walking off an interview he was doing with Munn when the topic was brought up.
“I kind of feel like I’m the one going to jail,” Munn said. “I didn’t go to jail, I didn’t put this guy on our set. I had this scene deleted. Thank God, honestly, that there are social media. It’s the fans and news outlets that’s confirming it to me that what I did was the right thing. If I didn’t have that feedback, I’d kind of go a little crazy thinking, Why am I being treated like this? That’s not O.K., to feel like the bad guy.”
“I felt the support from online and the news—everybody was very encouraging and made me feel really good—but it was a very lonely, lonely time for me that day. I don’t care if it’s my movie. I don’t care if this movie was going to give me $100 million—it’s not worth being quiet over that. My silence is not for sale.”
The Predator opens this Friday